MANILA- Three more civilians have been killed in Marawi City, local authorities said, as clashes between government troops and Maute terrorists continued Friday.
This raised the death toll to 5 after 2 civilians—drivers of ambulances, were confirmed killed on Thursday.
More people have also been reported wounded as heavy bombardment continues in the city. An injured civilian, Jalil Hasan, told ABS-CBN News that around 40 of them were trying to escape the gunfight when they were hit by a bomb from the military air strike.
Hasan, who was hit by over 10 splinters in different parts of his body, said he was the only one who was able to escape while others went back to their houses and are now unable to flee the violence.
ABS-CBN News was able to reach Amai Pakpak Hospital and the Marawi City Hall, but both facilities have been closed down.
The hospital has already been evacuated but several snipers and spotters from the Maute group are still around.
Buildings and houses around the city have also been riddled with bullets while streets have been covered with debris.
Locals trapped in the clashes are still scrambling to flee with some resorting to climbing the sides of trucks just to get on board.
Long lines of vehicles are seen in and out of Marawi as authorities rigorously inspected evacuees, to prevent any Maute member from entering Iligan.
Residents from towns near Marawi have also joined the exodus, saying fighting has escalated near their homes and are afraid that they might get caught up in the middle of the firefight.
Some residents recalled how they eventually resorted to eating salt when they were already running out of food. Out of fear, some chose to stay in the dark and avoid lighting candles since terrorists might see them and force their way into their homes.
Meanwhile at the city’s border, at least 4 foreign Muslim nationals were held up as the military verified their affiliations.
The foreigners were searched, interviewed, and were asked to submit their passports for verification by the military.
The group's leader, Mohammad Amin, said they are in the Philippines because of an invitation to attend a Muslim conference, but were trapped by the clashes. The foreigners showed documents proving the said conference, and were eventually released by the military.